As we head into the final days of 2023, Venues of Excellence, reflects on its most successful year ever, welcoming 12 fantastic new independent venues into the UK’s leading sales and marketing consortium.
Mandy Jennings, CEO who took ownership of Venues of Excellence in 2021, comments on the excellent growth in membership over the past 12 months: “We are absolutely delighted with the interest we have received during 2023 from independent venues wanting to be part of our community. Our focus on quality means we only invite UK venues who are at the top of their game in the conference and event market into our membership and they all go through the quality assessment before joining. We aim to support our members by offering guidance, learning and development opportunities, tips on best practice plus a great range of benefits, from national sales and marketing to networking with peers and also focus groups working within specific market sectors.”
Over the past two months, the consortium has welcomed three new venues. The Form Rooms, in London is a historic Victorian school which has been lovingly restored and transformed into a central London workspace like no other. Fraser Tant, Membership Director on joining commented: “We joined Venues of Excellence because we were impressed with all the support they provide. We know that working together with other independent venues is easier than working alone and we are keen to learn from and help other venue members, especially those ones based in central London, where the market is extremely competitive.”
Joining the collection of venues in the South East is the University of Oxford Examination Schools, which was built between 1876 and 1882, and designed by Sir Thomas Jackson. This historical Grade II listed venue was created to house the University of Oxford’s examinations, which it still does today and provides a flexible venue to host an array of conference and events. Ellen Brady, Head of Oxford University Event Venues (Interim) chose to join the consortium saying: “We are delighted that the Examination Schools has partnered with Venues of Excellence – our mutual values of commitment to quality and excellence make us the perfect match. Our highly experienced, dedicated team is looking forward to accessing the numerous benefits of membership and to showcasing our exceptional and unique venue to new clients.”
The final venue to make the trio is Nottingham Venues – East Midlands Conference Centre and the Orchard Hotel, on the University of Nottingham’s stunning campus. This academic venue offers a great range of flexible meeting spaces and offers a stylish contemporary eco-friendly hotel adjacent. Melissa Sobo, Director of Sales on joining the consortium said: “We are absolutely delighted to be joining the Venues of Excellence family. It means so much that we have been recognised within the industry for our commitment to providing excellence guest service. We look forward to building our network, expanding our knowledge, and showcasing our venues to a wider audience.”
The consortium which now boasts over 50 venues in the UK, showcases the diversity of independent venues, all delivering a quality of excellence, and outstanding customer care with exceptional teams committed to the hospitality sector.
Looking forward to 2024, the membership team are investing their time in meeting with prospective new members. The flagship event of the year for the consortium is its Annual Conference, which will be held at Alton Towers Resort and Conference Centre 29th & 30th January, themed ‘The Power of Discovery.’ The conference aims to provide motivation and inspiration from an excellent range of industry speakers and informative sessions all focused on helping member venues strive for continued excellence.